To be honest, I think people today are by and large out of touch with ALL areas of history, not just magic history, and it's getting worse. If something happened last week it's already forgotten.
I have often wondered how long it would be before all important info was forgotten by those "in power", and we would be back in the dark ages, because noone would even know what the dark ages were...
Most people now days, if they've ever heard about WWI or WWII, or the Civil War, or Vietnam, or Watergate, they can't tell them apart, or discuss why they were important, or what happened.
Another area I love is art history. As Picasso said, it's not enough to just look at an artist's pictures, you have to know where he was living at the time--who he was palling around with--how much he partied, etc....i.e., the more you know, the more enriched you will be.
Thus we come to an anecdote, if I may:
I was managing a restaurant in the East Bay (San Ramon, Nor. Cal.)
One of the guys who worked there was particularly hilarious, and had arcane interests like me.
One afternoon, we started trading stories about the wild times in Paris during the 20s--the scandals, the bon mots, the parties, the orgies, etc. etc. Two young buss-boys (in high school) came into the room where we were cracking up. We said, "Let us tell you this story about (I forget who: Picasso, Hemingway, ??)" they literally sneered at us and said, "What do we want to hear [censored] about old dead guys for?"
ABSOLUTE disdain even for the hilarious stuff specially picked by us--not even boring classroom stuff--they wanted NONE of ANY of it.
Here is an article that will be of interest to many of you: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 102407.DTL
I find many people don't have intellectual curiosity enough to read-about or seek-out information about ANY subject, not just magic history, unfortunately.
The average American reads zero books per year.
Say it with me, "Doomed to repeat it"... :help: